We love ridiculing TV here at the gasm, but we also love WATCHING it. We got together and voted on our favorite new shows of 2011. The top vote getters won…well, nothing. They won nothing. But we still had fun!
Best New Drama of 2011
Chickbomb: Pan Am. When enjoyed on mute it is truly the best thing on television.
Slumrville: American Horror Story: Haunted houses, sex crazed ghosts, full body rubber suits, demon fetuses, obnoxious neighbors and Dylan McDermott’s bare ass. What’s not to love?!?!Despite some inconsistancies, the mythology is complex and spooky and Jessica Lange is absolutely brilliant.
VirginiaApple: Homeland. Claire Danes has taken after her 90′s Romeo and brought Leo’s love for playing crazy to the small screen. And who knew America was craving a morally complex show about a home grown terrorist? (Besides the E! Network, of course. But they’re still perpetuating the notion that the Kardashians are upstanding citizens, so the joke’s on us.)
PottyMouth: Oh man. At first I was going to pick Once Upon a Time because fairy tales + alterverses +LOST writers = all sorts of awesome. But in the end I had to give it to American Horror Story because from the first three minutes until the last five seconds of its season this show creeped me out, fucked with my head, made me care about psycho ghosts, oh, and Jessica Lange.
J-Mo: Partially-decaying hands-down American Horror Story – First of all, did Jessica Lange have plastic surgery to give her her OLD face back? Because that’s a committment to creepy. I just love how everybody on that show is completely fucked up beyond all hope and you know nobody is going to live happily ever after (if, you know, they even live at ALL). I also love how they’ve managed to make Los Angeles look like it’s made up of entirely brown and grey tones, it’s a wonderfully unsettling backdrop. I hope Ryan Murphy doesn’t fuck it all up.
Mrs.Snarklesbee: Homeland. I haven’t watched a single episode yet, but if one more person tells me I HAVE to see Homeland I might go postal. So it must be good.
Nads: Mob Wives!!!!! Because it’s real gangsta shit!
PennyDreadful: Downton Abbey. Excellence in all areas: scripts, casting and performances (Maggie Smith – hello!), costumes, scenery. A tried and true formula made fresh. Also I totally want servants – excuse me, “staff”. I want to be able to say “tea please” and in comes a guy with a silver tray with tea and delicious treats. And he bows to me. OK, I really want to be the Queen. Because you know that in Buckingham Palace it’s totes 1910.
SexyPanda: Game of Thrones. Awesome story that perfectly adapted the book to TV. It’s also gorgeous, and I love the theme song so much I’m abandoning my 20+ year wish to get married to a Nutcracker Suite song and get married to GoT instead. Homeland is a close second, for its riveting story and amazing acting.
BlueCanary: Homeland wins it, for combining a fully batshit Claire Danes with conspiracies, security breaches, treasonous military personnel, government cover-ups, terrorist activity, a seriously Jewish Mandy Patinkin, and a bonus cock-gobbling Muslim, then wrapping it all around a down and dirty raw-dog boning in the parking lot of a honky-tonk bar. Go ahead and watch it, and you’ll see I’m not exaggerating one damn bit.
Dangerously: Revenge!!! It’s an overload of sex, scandal, and intrigue. I don’t think it’s possible to NOT like this show. The only way it could’ve been made better is if it was on HBO.
Flipit: American Horror Story cuz it was amazing and insane and I didn’t see most of it coming and I would stay up for hours and hours reading message boards and praying to Jesus that Jessica Lange finally starts returning my calls. That woman is the only person in the Universe I would trust to help me stand up to my mommy at Christmas. It had an extremely gooey happy ending, which turned my love into hate, so I guess I should just nix AHS and say Homeland was the best new drama. Claire Danes has really taken her jaw acting to a whole new level with that one. Wait. The ending to Homeland sucked too. I loved a lot of new stuff and hated almost every season finale on TV. Here’s what I know: There were more nights that I was excited about watching TV this year than any other in recent memory.
DearCrabby: I wish I could say Blue Bloods but that started in late 2010…would that ever family sat down to Sunday dinner and had civil conversations. Like that ever happens.
Foggywood: Ringer. Because its in my contract to say so.
SunnySideUp: American Horror Story. I never thought I’d see Rosemary’s Baby, Jessica Lange, Amityville, a wacky realtor with vaudeville-timing, and a bunch of dead kids on TV. This show did it, and with a twist of Poltergeist I might add. It was a short enough series that it didn’t get too far away from the writers, but it sure packed in a ton of horror memes and when it didn’t hit, it was cheesy enough, like a good horror movie, to be funny. Plus, Connie Britton! I love her for looking her age, and doing so gorgeously. The show could have gone further, even though it’s on FX and not Showtime, but I think as long as it goes for the gusto instead of pulling a LOST Second Season from Left Field then this show can totally get in a few seasons and I personally am hoping that the show just gets wackier and bloodier! It was left so open, that anything can happen and you don’t know what… but you know something is gonna happen. Viva la horror genre!
TheNooch: Game of Thrones. It’s the only place I can watch titties and rape and totally accept it as an important plot point.
Vallegirl: Being Human, US. It was like the UK version, only pretty. (Seriously, at least the ”Mitchell” bathed.) It was like Twilight, only for people who might have gotten laid at some point. It was like True Blood, only it made sense, and it co-starred Mark Pellegrino who makes everything better with his deranged face.
And the winner is…
American Horror Story! Congrats! Now please don’t fuck up season two, Mr. Murphy.
Best New Comedy of 2011
Chickbomb: 2 Broke Girls. Whitney’s funnier, better looking little sister.
Slumrville: The Republican Debates: America, your choices are a suspected witch, a Mormon, a megalomaniac, a sexual harasser, and a dude with short term memory loss. Turn this shit into a reality show competition, and the winner MIGHT have a shot at winning the White House come November 2012. They could call it America’s Next Top Bigot. And if that actually happens, I’m totally suing for royalties.
VirginiaApple: I don’t know about “best,” but Awkward was kind of addicting. It certainly lived up to it’s title. It can be pretty good with the awkwardness (see what I did there?) of high school, although I would like to know where the love triangle full of cute guys was back during my formative years.
PottyMouth: Hmmm…this is a tough one. I think I’m gonna give it to Suburgatory. It may not always come through with the laughs, but its got a GREAT cast (Jeremy Sisto, Alan Tudyk, Ana Gasteyer, Cheryl Hines) and the moments it gets right it REALLY gets right.
SunnySideUp: Beavis and Butthead (with honorable mention to Portlandia): Well, there’s certainly no M*A*S*H or Friends in this horserace, so I’m going back to my roots here and going with Beavis and Butthead. In the 1990s, my friend J and I sat on the couch in his basement, smoked weed and watched Beavis and Butthead on MTV like pretty much everyone else born at the tail end of Gen X. Now, I still sit on a couch, but it’s a lot nicer and it’s in my house I own, and there’s a whole lot less drugs but Beavis and Butthead is still funny. The cache with that show is that we all know Beavis and Butthead. I have a friend now who totally still sounds like Butthead when he laughs. These kids are untouchable. They’re awful teenage dirtbags, but they are so lost in their immaturity and dudeness that it’s hard to hate them. And they take on MTV, which is brilliant, since. I love when MTV lets its hair down, and having Beavis and Butthead wryly making fun of Teen Mom is golden. Honorable mention to Portlandia. A friend of mine noted that Fred Armison gets buried on SNL because there’s so much talent on that show right now, but here, he shines. I agree. As a proud womyn of my generation, I love Carrie Brownstein forever for Sleater-Kinney but as a principle on Portlandia, she looks like she’s having a blast catching all the stuff Armison throws at her. The result is weird, self-deprecating and hey, if you need a little more for it to work for you, just Put. A. Bird. On. It.
TheNooch: Whitney, if you are blind and deaf and don’t know what tv is.
Vallegirl: The Republican Debates, and I have three reasons. One, Rick Perry. Two, Rick Perry. Three…..I can’t remember the third.
BlueCanary: Did anyone else watch Shameless? William H. Macy as a drunken piece of shit father, Emmy Rossum slutting it up, Joan Cusack with her agoraphobia and cookies and flowered teacups and dildo collection–that show was funny as hell. It was also depressing as hell, come to think of it. It was supposed to be a comedy, right? Right?
Dangerously: I can honestly say I have not watched a single one. I’m turning into an old man, I fear (but not old enough to like Two and a Half Men). Stick me in a rocking chair and I can tell you all about how “in my day, people creating sitcom had TALENT.” I can go on and on about the amazing sitcoms of the past (Cheers, Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends…and let us never forget Arrested Development), but I seem to only tune in to a new sitcom every two-to-three years these days.
DearCrabby: Whitney – I don’t know why people don’t like this, but it is hilarious! It is still finding its groove, but you need to give it a chance. The episode where her boyfriend shushes her is too funny. One of the few shows where I laugh out loud.
Flipit: American Horror Story. I know it was technically a drama, but Jessica Lange had the funniest lines of the year and every time she came onscreen I laughed my ass off.
Foggywood: Michelle Bachmann.
a) That huz-band
b) Those eyes
c) That accent
d) That insanity
e) That ideology
J-Mo: I didn’t find much on TV so I will say… Michele Bachman’s bid for Republican Presidential Candidacy – between her big fat domineering pray-away-the-gay-by-secretly-sucking-dick hubby, her lunatic glare, and her unending commitment to bringing everyone back to the good old days of the 1800s, she has kept me laughing (uneasily) all year long.
Mrs.Snarklesbee: Can I vote for Beavis and Butthead, even though it’s more of a ‘returning’ show than a ‘new’ show? Because I haven’t stuck with any other new comedies. They all blow.
PennyDreadful: New Girl. I want to be friends with all the folks on this show. Funny, quirky, makes me laugh and cry (just a little). Breakout character: Schmidt. I heart him! Reminds me of — me. I’m not sure if that means I’m so much more quirky and fun than I had realized, or I’m a complete nutcase. I’ll get back to you on that.
SexyPanda: I’m loving Whitney! I actually hated it at first, thought it was too stilted and weird. And I still think the male lead is kinda fugly. But the show is hysterical–the supporting cast is so strange and so normal, all at the same time.
And the winner is….
Whitney! Hope you get a third highly rated sitcom in 2012, lady!
To check out our individual recaps, just follow the links here: BlueCanary, ChickBomb, Dangerously, DearCrabby, Flipit, Foggywood, J-Mo, MrsSnarklsebee, Nads, PennyDreadful, PottyMouth, SexyPanda, Slumrville, SunnySideUp, TheNooch, Vallegirl, and VirginiaApple.
So how do our picks sit with you guys? Agree? Disagree? Did we miss your faves completely? Sound off!